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Author Topic: Confused on Window Skins/Siding ... Best option?  (Read 2501 times)
topfrog007
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« on: February 13, 2012, 09:37:42 AM »

Guys,

I've got an MCI 86 102A3. I've been trying to figure out what the best method is for skinning over the original windows. My plan is to skin over all the windows on both sides, or all but the front two windows. Haven't decided yet. After they are skinned over I plan on installing RV type windows.

So far the options are:

Steel - Heavier but cheaper than aluminum
Aluminum - Light, easier to install
Figberglass - Never done anything with fiberglass
Sikaflex - No experience at all

I know that some buses use the skins as structural support, not sure if my bus does this or not.

I have no experience with this sort of thing, what would be the best/cheapest/easiest/most effective method?
Are there any good guies for doing this online?

Thanks so much.
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Preston - Dothan Alabama - 1986 MCI 102A3
Jerry32
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 01:02:16 PM »

On mine I used aluminimum and got the metal supplyer to get 5' wide sheets for the least loss of scrap. I removed the windows and frames then installed insulation in the hole before covering. Jerry
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1988 MCI 102A3 8V92TA 740
Highway Yacht
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 01:38:40 PM »

Preston.. I used steel sheets in 10ft lengths.. I pulled all the windows out where I wanted the new skins.. It is a lot more work than it seems..



Then I welded in new 1 1/2" steel square tubing for extra support..



Then I sheeted over the new bracing with 1/16" sheets of steel in 10 ft lengths..



and last I cut out the openings for the RV windows and installed them..

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Ace
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 06:42:26 PM »

If you have, witch most are, double pane windows, why not just lave them in? They are better than insulation! Mine are in and never a problem besides why take out a perfectly good water seal and create an opening!
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Ace Rossi
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Prevost H3-40
Skykingrob
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 07:17:58 PM »

I have a Prevost XL which has a curved side wall, so it was more difficult than the straight wall MCI that you have. I would follow the pics/description of Highway Yachtsman, he is telling you how I also did mine but I had to have the aluminum formed to fit my curved walls before it could be riveted in place. Ace's way is much less work, but I worried about the glass breaking in the walls where I couldn't get to it if it did. Might have been silly, probably was, but I didn't leave my windows in, I took them out. I also didn't want to haul around the extra weight. Again, might have been silly, but that was my rationale for taking the windows out. I used 5' wide by 9' long 6062 aluminum sheets, took them to a metal shop and had them formed then put in place after welding in extra support steel and then rivets them in place. I am pleased with the outcome. BTW, you need to have someone/something heat the sheets while you are riveting them to expand them, so when they heat up in the sun, there are no wrinkles. My lovel wife stood inside the coach with a propane weed burner heating the panels on the inside while I riveted them panels on the outside. Worked like a charm. Others have done it by installing the panels in the outside bright sunshine allowing the sunshine to heat and expand the panels. Others have used infared heaters to heat and expand the panels. Probably other methods used as well. However you can do it with whatever resources you have, you will be better pleased I think with heating the panels. I would search the archives as there is much information there. I have no experience with sikaflex either. Several on here do and have great results with a rivetless coach. Not sure you need to do that since your coach already has rivets but you may want to. If so, again go the archives, search for sikaflex, you will find lots of info there. I will share on horror sotry with you. I have a friend who used fiberglass rolls on an eagle. The fiberglass was so heavy, he needed the help of 5 guys and lots of sikaflex to enclose the windown openings. I will admit the coach looked great when finished, but it was a monster to work with. Just a few things to think about.

Rob
91 Prevost XL40
Missouri
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topfrog007
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 10:10:38 PM »

If you have, witch most are, double pane windows, why not just lave them in? They are better than insulation! Mine are in and never a problem besides why take out a perfectly good water seal and create an opening!

Ace, I didn't think of that. Do you have pictures of how you did yours?

Rob, yeah fiberglass scares me the most out of all the options...

Any estimates on how much each option would cost, or how long they would hold up?
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Preston - Dothan Alabama - 1986 MCI 102A3
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 04:50:26 AM »

One advantage of removing double-glazed windows you don't need is a big weight saving; my windows are 6'6" x 4' and are heavy - I don't know how much they weigh exactly but one window is a real struggle for me to lift singlehanded - the collected weight of all the ones I've removed must really add up


Jeremy
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chev49
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 09:19:11 AM »

18 ga metal isnt exactly light when you are putting that up by yourself...
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 10:23:10 AM »

There is no doubt that skinning over the windows followed by an artistic paint job is the first class way to go, but not the only way.  When we got our 5a, the usable windows were original and the walled-over windows were covered with glued panels cut to fit.  They clearly were former windows but looked okay.  We removed those panels since there were signs that they might soon removed themselves, and covered them with panoramic landscapes that we had printed on self-sticking vinyl.  I liked the way it came out.  Our only problem with it is that the printer, who assured us that he was using exterior inks, was wrong. 
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Skykingrob
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 02:46:53 PM »

Preston
I do not know the cost of fiberglass now but my friend spent $3000 about 8 years ago. I can tell you that 4- 4' x9' 6062 aluminum bought and formed ready to go on the coach was $600. Rivets were another $100. I covered the steel roof/side wall supports with 1/8" roll rubber mastic at a cost of another $50.

Rob
91 Prevost XL 40
Missouri
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Ace
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 03:01:43 PM »

Sorry. No pics but if you just sit and think about all the pluses and it might enlighten your thoughts!

Yes the windows are heavy BUT weren't they in the bus all along?

The side windows  very rarely leak water so why make potential problem if there isnt one?

Water tight is only ONE issue. What about air? Taking windows out leaves room for air leaks which could be phantom noises!

If you don't have windows, you better have a Really good seal so no moisture can get to ruin the framing or the insulation not to mention interior finished walls!

Leaving windows in is by far a lot less work! No added fabrication, no fitti g of. We windows, and then there's no seals to worry about on the new openings!

I had mine covered over and. Obidy can tell from looking and on the inside I filled the window opening (against the glass) with foam insulation and taped it in place with foil tape then went directly over that with 3/8 plywood. It doesn't get any more solid or quieter not to mention no heat or coolness lost!

Do it your way but me? I went the easy and quickest way so I could use it and that's what I'm doing!
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Ace Rossi
Lakeland, Fl. 33810
Prevost H3-40
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 03:14:12 PM »

What happens if one of the glass windows get broke?
On mine at least I have to unscrew the window from inside the coach.

I don't think it would be possible to replace the glass if I couldn't access the inside.

Dave
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topfrog007
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 03:58:14 PM »

@Ace - Do you have any pictures of your rig currently?

@Skykingrob - Aluminum is cheaper than I thought it was going to be. Was it hard to install? What did you do for the interior? Do you have any pictures?

@Lin - That sounds interesting, do you have any pictures (Broken record)?

@HighwayYacht - What was the cost of your skinning project? It looks great. Also, do the original windows in the front and 1 in the rear open and function like normal?

If I go with Aluminum do I need to weld any supports like HighwayYacht did? Also, with Aluminum how do you mount RV type windows?

Does anyone know if the Rivets on my bus are structural?

Do I have a limit on questions?!  Grin
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Preston - Dothan Alabama - 1986 MCI 102A3
Scott Bennett
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 05:54:35 PM »

Another vote for aluminum skin. 10 foot lengths. If you can afford it, go with 1/8th in thick. No wavy issues...  Smiley
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Scott & Heather
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robertglines1
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 06:16:40 PM »

No limit on questions: I use 16 ga steel cold roll.   hold paint better   doesn't wave as bad.  am against alum    reason  wave    melt in fire    .See my fire pic=only way fire entered inside coach. The glass was not broken from fire but alum melted.     Do it your way!    I weld steel to frame.     Do it your way .Prevost factory uses alum.   Bob
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2012, 06:43:14 PM »

I will try to post a pic but my question is how will a window get broke or become broken? It's protected on both sides and pretty much packed in place not to mention the original installation!
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Ace Rossi
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Prevost H3-40
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2012, 02:14:59 PM »

topfrog, here is one picture.

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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2012, 08:23:48 PM »

Quote
what would be the best/cheapest/easiest/most effective method?

I don't know if my method is the best, but is sure is the cheapest and very easy.  I am not keeping the original ceiling and I had all these stainless steel panels left over from ripping the ceiling out, so I just cut them down to fit, calked between the bus and panel real good and used plenty of fasteners, I also added some additional bracing to help stiffen the panels.  I don't know if I would have enough to cover all the windows, but I have enough to do the ones I am eliminating.  I will let you know in a couple of years how they are holding up Grin
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2012, 08:53:34 PM »

  Aluminum, steel, stainless steel, fiberglass. I think between all the manufactures they have used them all. Aluminum is light, but unless its 1/8th inch it gets wavy. With any material, thickness increases rigidity.

  The glass is real heavy safety glass like a car windshield. We once threw all the glass from a fishbowl into a dumpster, the garbage truck couldnt lift it. He estimated it was nearly 1 ton. That sounds like a lot, but each side glass took two guys to lift down, they are not light, and there are 8 to 10 of them in a Bus, plus the windshield, back glass, and front driver side and door glass.

  My plan is to keep the window frames but replace the glass with lexan or some kind of polycarbonate, or possibly aluminum panels. That will keep it looking like a Bus, but it will lose a lot of weight. If I screw them down from the outside I wont have any trouble doing repairs.
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